Joyful Tidying?

I confess to not paying a lot of attention to trends on keeping house. I was raised by Jim and Sarah and Jim and Sarah were basically tidy people. My mother kept a clean house and we were assigned chores to do. My father kept a relatively clean work shed and he insisted that tools be put back where they belonged. Neither one of them had a lot of junk in their car. If we spilled something, we were expected to clean it up. As a result, I keep a fairly tidy house. I don’t see this as a good thing or a bad thing. It’s how I like my space. My husband probably wishes I liked my space a little less tidy or rather that I didn’t insist that his spaces be occasionally tidied up. Some of my favorite people do not keep a tidy house. I don’t see that as a character flaw. I see it as something they don’t spend time on because they prefer to spend time on something else. It’s a free country (sort of) so go on with your bad self.

Enter Marie Kondo who wrote a book about cleaning house that sold like hot cakes. Good for her. I’m pleased for anyone who can move that many books about anything. Now I keep seeing people talking about whether something sparks joy in them. I find this confusing. Stuff, in general, doesn’t spark joy in me. People and animals spark joy in me. I don’t pick up a shirt and find it joyful or unpleasant or anything really. It’s a shirt, if it’s clean, and appropriate for where I’m going, I put it on. Towels also do not spark joy. If they are clean and dry, fantastic, I use them to dry something else. Stuff just doesn’t make me that joyful. At best, there are a few items in my house that embody what little nostalgia I’m capable of mustering, which isn’t much.

Out of curiosity, I watched a few episodes of Kondo’s new Netflix show. At least now I know what people are talking about but I’m still confused. I’m willing to admit that it is entirely possible that I’m not normal in this regard. Perhaps the vast majority of people out there are worried about how their socks feel about being rolled up. Perhaps, there are people out there willing to take a long time folding their clothes so they stack a certain way in a drawer. That’s not how I want to spend my time and I’m someone who regularly folds and puts away my clean laundry. I just can’t imagine anyone I know who doesn’t keep a tidy house now, deciding to suddenly make a hobby of folding laundry. Is that a thing that happens?

I’m not saying Marie Kondo is without merit. She seems delightful, and again, kudos to her for making serious bank on this. I understand that there are people who are in need of assistance in clearing out excess stuff, but I’m one of those people who always want to see the follow up shows for “reality TV.” I want to see what the tiny house people are doing a year later. I want to know how the hoarders are doing, and now, I want to see if people really change their lifestyle after Kondo enters their home. Still, you probably can’t go by me. My husband says I’m in a constant state of Swedish Death Cleaning.


6 thoughts on “Joyful Tidying?

  1. There is absolutely nothing that has anything to do with house cleaning and keeping a tidy house that “sparks joy” in me. To me, it’s a necessary evil and I’d prefer to spend as little time on it as possible. But that’s me. I’ve no doubt that there are people who enjoy cleaning their house, and that’s great. They can come do mine while they’re at it. XD But to me… no, there’s nothing joyful about spending time that I could be playing disc dog or out walking with my dog, playing piano, or reading, cleaning the darn house instead.

  2. I addition to me keeping an organized house, we are fortunate enough to have a maid that comes in to clean every couple of weeks. Hiring her was the end of one of our biggest arguments and we have never regretted spending the money. She’s a professional and cleans faster and better than we can. I highly recommend having a professional clean for you if you can afford it. It’s life changing in the best way.

  3. Loved this blog, Marie! Very funny! However, my sister Mary gave me Marie Kondo;s book for my birthday. All I can say is: someday you may be grateful that I received this book….You don’t need it, but some of us really need this. However, I do agree with you that very few “things” actually bring me joy…

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